The best plays in the history of pro League of Legends
For as long as the League of Legends competitive scene has existed, pros from around the world have blessed fans with some truly magnificent plays.
Every player has that one moment that can define their career, that the audience can look back at and think "I was there when it happened"—a clutch teleport, a godly escape, or a moment of madness can sometimes lead to breathtaking moments on the Rift that can change the outcome of any game.
These moments helped to inspire generations to take notice of the game's competitive scene. The five listed in this story are some of the greatest that ever happened. Considering the long history of the League of Legends competitive scene—it's been around since 2010—, not every play will be listed below. The list will be updated, so be sure to head back to see what other amazing plays have made the cut.
Here are some of the key moments from the past few years.
The xPeke Backdoor — Intel Extreme Masters 2013.
Fnatic vs. SK Gaming
We begin with a moment that helped define League of Legends esports.
At the final match of IEM 2013, SK were looking to close out the game and end Fnatic's hopes of taking the title. SK rushed towards Fnatic's base, unaware that one lone Fnatic player was trying to end the game there and then.
As Fnatic threw themselves at SK Gaming to stop the team's recalls, slowly and surely Enrique “xPeke” Cedeno slowly but surely took the base and stole the win from SK Gaming.
This singular moment would define Xpeke's legacy.
The Ashe arrow — Season Six World Championships
SK Telecom T1 vs. ROX Tigers
SK Telecom had taken the first game in the series and ROX were looking to answer back quickly. They had gained a substantial lead against their LCK rivals but SKT were finding their way back into the game.
With all the pressure against them, the ROX Tigers went for a last-chance. As SKT pushed up the midlane, ROX sent two players down to the bottom lane to steal the win from under SKT's noses.
ROX just had to stop the recalls to take the game but one player slipped away—SKT's Ekko had been pushing the botlane and frantically tried to recall.
Kim "PraY" Jong-in, the team's ADC at the time, let loose his ultimate in hopes it would reach the target in time—and it did, stopping the recall and giving ROX the time they needed to tie up the series.
Toyz Orianna — Season Two World Championships.
Taipei Assassins vs. Azubu Frost
Wai “Toyz” Kin Lau made an Orianna play that shocked the world when the LMS’s Taipei Assassins won the season two world championship against the tournament favorites, Korea's Azubu Frost.
In one of the penultimate games, Toyz was able to use Orianna's ultimate to grab Azubu's Shen, which was trying to escape from the Taipei Assassin team.
The grab was pixel-perfect and gave the team the kill they needed to help them secure victory in the match.
Toyz's Orianna play in the season two world championship up until this point had been exceptional and he did not disappoint when his team needed it most.
The sOAZ teleport escape - Season Five World Championships
SK Telecom T1 vs. Origen
Against the soon-to-be world champions, Paul “sOAZ” Boyer made, arguably, the best play of the tournament by escaping a two-on-one dive attempt from SK Telecom T1 to deny them first blood.
Origen would eventually lose to SKT in the best-of-five and finish joint third with Fnatic at Worlds 2015.
For a team that entered its first official EU LCS split, made Worlds 2017 as the E.U.’s third seed, and made it all the way to semifinals, you couldn’t ask for much more.
Huni’s 2-on-1 - Mid-Season Invitational 2015
Fnatic vs. SK Telecom T1
Fnatic were one of the leading international teams in the 2015 season of League of Legends after picking up Korean rookie players Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon in the top lane and Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin in jungle.
As the team came out top in the EU LCS Spring Split and earned their place at MSI, all eyes were on the two new rookies in the tournament—and they did not disappoint. The famous two-on-one play against the LCK powerhouse, SKT, has become synonymous with Huni’s early career.
The Fnatic backdoor heartbreak - Season Four World Championships
Fnatic vs. OMG
Backdoor plays have become legendary in Fnatic after xPeke’s legendary clutch play at IEM 2013. But this one holds a special place in the hearts of Fnatic fans for all the wrong reasons.
Fnatic were facing an early exit from Worlds and were getting desperate. They forced sOAZ up top to try and repeat the backdoor tactics that the organization became famous for after Xpeke's legendary play. SOAZ would lose his life as the rest of the team rushed in to try and take the Nexus, however. Fnatic was a single hit from winning the game and progressing through to the next round. Instead, the team crashed out of Worlds.